Evolution of furniture design in Bangladesh

Embracing the modern: Evolution of furniture design in Bangladesh

07 March, 2023, 10:25 am

Last modified: 07 March, 2023, 05:00 pm

While talking about changing market trends, Moshiur Rahman, Marketing Director of Hatil said, “We were the first to bring lacquer finish to the market in 2002 and have since incorporated modern materials like processed wood, laminated wood, vinyl, etc to create our own modern designs that cater to the evolving tastes of the customers.”

What defines contemporary designs?

Contemporary furniture designs are characterised by clean lines, minimalist forms, and emphasises on function and simplicity. It often features materials such as metal, glass, and plastic, and may incorporate bold colours and graphic patterns. This style is in stark contrast to the ornate, heavily decorated designs of the past.

“A piece of furniture that is modern, and in demand today, may no longer be considered contemporary in just a few years. Ultimately, contemporary furniture designs are defined by its ability to adapt to changing preferences, and reflect the latest global trends in the industry,” said architect Rafia Mariam Ahmed from Hive Architects.

However, Rafia acknowledges that there is still a demand for traditional and heavy designs in the market, especially in newly developing suburban areas. f

Traditional furniture designs are timeless and can be adapted to suit modern needs. Hence, some designers incorporate elements from traditional designs in a contemporary style, combining the best of both worlds, to create unique and functional furniture pieces that appeal to a wide range of consumers.

One of the driving forces behind the shift in style has to do with how fast-paced people’s lives have become, and they tend to gravitate towards furniture that is simple, functional, ergonomically sound, and easy to maintain. 

People are also living in smaller apartments and houses, and for them, space is precious. Furniture that serves multiple purposes, and is affordable, tends to be more desirable, such as sofas that can be converted into a bed, or a coffee table that can be raised to the height of a dining table.

Bohu’s sofa convertible as bed. Photo credit: Bohu

Bohu’s sofa convertible as bed. Photo credit: Bohu

Bohu’s sofa convertible as bed. Photo credit: Bohu

“When we started Bohu in 2017, we realised that as our living spaces are getting smaller, the furniture that we purchase is not being designed to accommodate these changes, creating a scale problem. At Bohu, we aim to bridge this gap by providing modern, sleek, and ergonomic furniture to meet the needs of today’s consumers, ” said Nabila Nowrin, co-founder, Bohu.

The use of reliable plywood, laminated board, chipboard, and hardboard in furniture now helps to avoid problems such as insect infestations that were commonly associated with traditional wooden furniture, making them a more durable and practical choice for contemporary consumers. 

Advances in technology and new manufacturing techniques have also played a role in influencing contemporary designs. Modern production methods allow for greater precision and consistency, making it easier to create furniture with clean lines and minimalist forms. 

Another factor driving the shift towards contemporary aesthetics is the growing awareness of environmental concerns. As we have become more conscious about our impact on the planet, people seek out furniture that is made from sustainable materials and has a minimal impact on the environment. Contemporary designs often employ sustainable materials such as bamboo and recycled plastics; making them popular choices for environmentally conscious consumers.

People are also more conscious about their mental health, which also influences contemporary designs. 

As Nabila Nowrin, also an architect for Ree Architects, explains: People become more aware of the importance of mental health, there is a growing need for contemporary furniture to be  designed with mental wellness in mind. These designs focus on creating spaces that feel open, airy, and welcoming. They often use soft colours and natural materials to inspire a sense of tranquillity and calm.


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